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Vote now to help Richard’s National Diversity Awards Bid

Vote now to help Richard’s National Diversity Awards Bid

The managing director of a specialist East Midlands company which provides diversity and inclusion learning solutions to some of the country’s largest businesses has been nominated for a prestigious award… and needs your vote to win it.

Richard Shakespeare founded and runs Workplace Diversity Solutions, which helps businesses across the UK to create a culture of inclusion, become more aware of disabilities and promote mental health awareness through a range of e-learning and classroom-based training.

He has received a nomination for the Positive Role Model for Disability, at the National Diversity Awards. The winners will be unveiled at a black tie event, in Liverpool, in September, which will celebrate the work of diversity ambassadors across the UK.

It will be hosted by Alex Brooker, who presents Channel 4’s hit comedy talk show The Last Leg, and actress and comedienne Sally Philips. 

Richard founded Workplace Diversity Solutions after being made redundant from a role in the financial services sector, in 2009.

Over the following 12 months, he completed almost 2,000 job applications in a tireless effort to secure employment.

His main goal was to give something back to society and make his family proud.

After spending over £1,000 on stamps and attending hundreds of interviews, Richard decided to become self-employed and work towards building a more inclusive society.

Having lived with a disability since birth, Richard is able to offer a unique insight into the challenges faced by people with a disability.

Working with clients including Eurostar International, Standard Life Aberdeen, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and the NHS, Richard has a real passion for driving inclusion across businesses.

He said:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been nominated for such a prestigious award, to have been nominated by one of my clients is a real honour.

“I don’t see myself as inspirational, I just do what I can to support businesses in becoming more inclusive. During my job search in 2009, I encountered some discrimination when applying for roles, most of which was perhaps unintentional or due to a lack of awareness.

“If I can educate businesses so that other people with a disability don’t have to go through the same experiences that I did, it can be only a good thing.”

Richard was nominated for the award by Julie Walker, Social Obligations Manager at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

He currently chairs SSEN’s inclusive service panels, which are made up of experts in mental health, disability, dementia and LGBT issues and were established to help the business consider the diverse needs of its customers.

Alongside this role, he also supports an internal diversity and inclusion working group, which is working on making the culture of the business truly inclusive.

Julie said:

“Richard is really passionate about what he does and the help he gives to others, which is why I nominated him for this award.

“He sits as an independent Chair of our Inclusive Service Panels and has really supported us by driving improvements to our customer offering, helping us become more inclusive and diverse and reflecting the needs of our customers.

“Having got to know Richard during the time he has worked with us, I am aware of all the great things he has done over his career. It is clear that everything he does is to selflessly help others, both in the workplace and also helping support lots of different charities, which is what makes him such a great diversity champion.”

Love Business news is delighted to be supporting Richard’s nomination and would like to support him in receiving votes for the award. You can vote for Richard by following the link below and saying why you would like to support his nomination.

Nominations are now open and close 31 May 2019 - so don’t miss out on your chance to get involved. Shortlisted nominees will be announced shortly after this date.

You can support Richard’s nomination by voting online at 

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